Styling a rental can be easier than you think. We all want to live in a pleasant environment and exercise our inner interior decorator.

If you love a stylish home, creating the right environment can be a challenge when you rent. There are personal items like furniture and accessories that add your personality, but what about other cost-effective ideas for styling a rental when you have a temporary space?

Styling a Rental : Fresh Flowers

Add colour and vibrancy with the fresh fragrance of flowers. Help them to last longer with these tips.

  • Ensure your vase is rinsed well
  • Minimise bacteria by cutting off all leaves below the water line
  • Snip stems at a 45 degree angle
  • Every two days, freshen the water
  • Prevent bacteria by placing a coin in the bottom of the vase
  • Don’t place flowers in direct sunlight as the petals will wilt
  • Add a little sugar to the water to help immature buds to bloom

Styling a Rental : Paint

A little elbow grease and a weekend will do wonders. Choose a warm white or a soft grey as a re-paint may not be required when you leave. If you choose a white paint, add a little colour that picks up the main hue in the room. For example, add a little blue to the white paint if you have predominantly blue tones in the room. This will enhance your own decor but not be noticed when you move out. Styling a rental means choosing neutral decor for what can’t be moved, and adding your personality with things that can


Styling a Rental :  Change the door handles

Instantly up-date doors and cupboards in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom with relatively inexpensive door handles. There are many options and are easily switched back. Choose from ceramic, glass, metal, brushed steel, wood… the options are endless. If you can’t find handles that mimic the placement of the current handles, investigate if you can fill the nail holes. This is easier with a wooden door, but ask your local hardware store for recommendations.

Styling a Rental : Light Shades

Invest in a gorgeous chandelier or pendant lighting that can be switched for the old stuff when you leave. Place inexpensive lampshades on bare globes and take the shades with you when you leave. You can also make your own coordinating lampshades by buying cheap paper or fabric barrel shades and covering them your own fabric.

If you buy ends of rolls or offcuts (vintage fabrics can often be found in Op Shops and similar), cover a lampshade and make a cushion cover to match. Perfect.

Stying a Rental : Change the taps

Similar to changing door handles, you can more easily change the kitchen and bathroom taps to elegant stainless or interesting copper… and switch back when you leave. You likely won’t need a plumber and can install tapware yourself. There is such a huge range available now, a new set of taps will instantly revive even the most tired vanity or kitchen sink.

Styling a Rental : Rugs

I love rugs for their ability to define a space and add colour or texture. Rugs cover up bad carpet and can be coordinated with cushions, throws and art. Delineate spaces by placing a large rug in a defined area, such as under a dining room table and chairs. Warm up cold tiles or deaden noise on wooden floors with a rug or runner.

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Styling a Rental : Temporary wallpaper

Yes really! There are endless possibilities with wallpaper than can be put up and peeled off at. Perfect for a rental, or for someone who likes to change their décor REALLY often. Check out, and


Styling a Rental : Temporary splashbacks

Sometimes referred to as ‘contact paper’, temporary splashbacks are usually water resistant and available in simulated textures such as brick and marble. Similar to wallpaper, they can be put up and pulled off relatively easily and cheaply.

Styling a Rental : Change Switch Plates

Replace yellow and stained light switch plates with fresh ones that will instantly revive a room.

Styling a Rental : Hang Art

This one can be a contentious issue when styling a rental because you don’t want to leave unsightly holes in walls. So either be prepared to patch them up or buy strong 3M wall stickers and hang light art. Always gain the permission of your Landlord or Property Manager before you start drilling holes in the wall.

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Header image from Rug image from Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. Other credits please click the image.